Connect with us

News

Niger Bridge Re-Opened After It Was Destroyed By The Biafra Army (Throwback Video)

AutoJosh

Published

on

During the Nigerian Civil War of 1967 – 1970, the retreating Biafran soldiers dynamited the Niger bridge. The destruction of the bridge was done to halt the advancement of the Nigerian military into Onitsha. The move left the Nigerian army frustrated at the Asaba side of the river.

The re-opening of the re-constructed Niger Bridge took place on Thursday, March 26th 1970.

The new extension was formally opened by the then Federal Commissioner for Works and Housing, Mr Femi Okunnu.

Also present at the event were Dr Ukpabi Asika, the civilian governor of the East-Central State, Colonel Olusegun Obasanjo, commander of the Engineering Corps of the Nigerian Army, and Mr. Axenfeld, the West German ambassador, whose country had provided a grant of £116,000 (Approximately US $ 223,000) towards the reconstruction programme.





Watch below the video of the re-opening ceremony of the Famous infrastructure.

The Re-Constructed Niger Bridge

The Niger Bridge is also referred to as “Onitsha Bridge” or “River Niger Bridge”.  The construction of the bridge (before it was destroyed) cost £6.75 million (approximately US $14 million). The bridge was completed in December 1965. However, it was commissioned by the then Prime Minister of Nigeria, Sir Tafawa Balewa in January 1966.

The commissioning of the bridge was the last public function of Prime Minister Balewa. He was assassinated on January 15, 1966.

During the Nigerian Civil War of 1967 – 1970, the retreating Biafran soldiers dynamited the bridge. This was done to halt the advancement of the Nigerian military. The move frustrated the attempt by the Nigerian army to advance from the Asaba side of the river to the Onitsha end.

After the war, Nigerian Army engineers, led by Colonel Olusegun Obasanjo, assisted a team from a West German construction firm to carry out temporary repairs on the bridge. This was to enable the movement of traffic across the River Niger from the Asaba end in the Mid-West State and the Onitsha end in the East-Central State.









Autojosh.com is an authoritative car blog in Nigeria. Its objective is to get Nigerians and a wider audience to be more informed about automobiles, the automotive sector and transport infrastructure. Over the years, we have been instrumental in creating immeasurable public awareness about automobiles and their maintenance, safety and traffic laws, amongst others. ...Your mobility, our priority. NK

Trending